Paintbrush in Hand, Cat Hair in Paint, Total Mess on Canvas

Posts tagged “Blogging

Back, Belatedly, With a Fuzzy Apple (Still) in Progress

That part where I said that being back at work after the holidays is not remotely conducive to blogging? Yeah, that. Oh well. I will do better from here on in! Or out, whatever the phrase is. Hmm, am I still even allowed to tag this “postaday2011” given that I have failed so dismally at this pathetically early stage in the proceedings?

But anyway… where was I? Oh yeah. I posted my attempt at painting an apple a week or so back, and mentioned that I was scared to do anything else to it as at least it vaguely resembled a (grey and white) apple at that point. But then over the weekend I thought “what the hell” and decided to try to make it, y’know… apple-colored. At this point I realized that the orangey burnt sienna background I’d already painted on there was going to result in an invisible apple if I wasn’t careful, so I slapped a load of white over it just so I’d be able to see what I was doing without losing the apple while painting! Then glooped a load of reds and orangey colors onto the canvas, with the result you see below. Then I thought I’d use up some green paint that was sitting on my palette to redo the background yet again… this is the reason for the fuzzy area around the edges of the apple. I need to paint over it yet again in a few days, this time getting rid of that fuzzy edge… and, of course, finally giving the poor apple a shadow to stop it floating in minty-green space.

Well… it looks kinda appley, doesn’t it? Just a bit… flat. And that light reflection is awful, I will have to fix that!



Going back to work is just not very conducive to blogging, it seems. Only four days into the New Year and I’ve already failed dismally in my attempt to post every day. It’s all so much easier when I have nothing to do but sit around the house drinking tea, painting badly and contemplating what to cook for dinner. Getting up in the dark and coming home in the dark and thinking gloomily how it’s almost time to go to bed… yeah, that isn’t so great. The Husband bought us a lottery ticket for the Mega Millions draw last night (for some reason he always gets REALLY excited when the jackpot goes up to some insanely high amount, as if it’s not worth buying a ticket when the jackpot is “only” a few piddling million), but he didn’t pick the numbers very well because instead of being newly-minted gazillionaires this morning, we are merely a few dollars worse off than we were previously. Oh well.

I have nothing to post about right now and have to get ready for work. I do have comments to reply to, though (thank you for wandering by, lovely commenters!)… this will happen about 12 hours from now when I come back from my day of tedium. Blech.

Cough… cough… testing… and all that good stuff

Ah, here we are. Coming right up on the end of another year, so it must be about time for me to get the idea into my head to start up yet another blog. Will I abandon this one come the second week in January, or will I keep up with it? This remains to be seen…

Last year’s effort was created with the vague intention of doing a food/recipe blog, since I love cooking (and of course eating) so much, and thought that blogging about both would encourage me to try out lots of new recipes as opposed to sticking with old favourites. It went by the wayside very quickly, alas. Maybe I’ll get back to it again. The site is still there, all neglected and lonely.

This one, however, exists for the purpose of keeping a record for myself of my laughable attempts at painting, and hopefully also allowing me to see that whether it feels like it or not, I am actually making some progress. That’s the idea, anyway – that I will make progress. Practice makes… well, if not perfect, “better”, right? Less crappy?

Allow me to explain…

My very wonderful husband bought me the most awesome Christmas present, after some very heavy more-than-hinting (OK, downright requesting!) from me as to what I’d like… only he rather took the theme and ran with it and left me openmouthed with delight when it came to gift-unwrapping time. I really, really wanted to try oil painting (this has been a longtime wish of mine, but one that has never come to fruition… until now) and after a frustrating and unsatisfactory session attempting (and failing) to get my old set of watercolors to do my bidding a couple of months ago, asked if he would get me a few paints and other stuff I’d need to get started. He went to town (quite literally) and presented me with not only a set of lovely Winsor & Newton paints, but all manner of other goodies to work with. He rocks.

I had forgotten how much I love oil paint. I’ve barely had the opportunity to use it until now, and it has been YEARS (like, upwards of two decades, that many years) since I last got my hands on some, but… mmmm, the smell of those things! I may suck at painting (nay, I DO suck at painting), but I find oils so pleasing to work with even when I’m creating nothing more than a godawful mess. All that texture and gloss and shine and versatility and the ability to smooooosh the stuff all over the canvas with my new favourite things, the set of painting knives that were also part of my awesome Christmas present… yup, this is fun.

Like I said, though, I rather suck at painting. And here we come to the point of this blog: there is no way I’m keeping each and every one of the disasters I will no doubt create over the coming days/weeks/months/etc – those suckers are getting painted over, sharpish. I will be rotating my way through my canvases and reusing them mercilessly – I won’t have much choice in the matter if I don’t want to end up broke and with a house crammed full of bad art. I can only stand to have *so* many shockingly terrible paintings in the room at one time, you know. But I want to be able to photograph my efforts and look back over them, and hopefully (hopefully!) get a sense that I’m improving, bit by bit, as well as being able to see what I’m comparatively good at (nothing, right now) and what I utterly suck at beyond belief and really need to work on. I’ll also post up works in progress at various stages, which I’m guessing will help me look back and pinpoint at which point a particular painting started veering from “merely bad” to “utterly disastrous”. Hm.

What I really wanted to paint, initially, was very abstract stuff. That’s the kind of art I usually like looking at most, so it follows that that’s what I’d like to paint, too. But I very quickly realized that I still need to be able to, y’know, control the brushes and the knives and make the paint do what I want it to do. Not to mention that no matter how much still lives were the bane of my life at school, it would be rather useful to be able to look at something and paint what’s in front of me. Hell, using such nice paints it could even be… fun, as opposed to the aforementioned bane of my life. Then, I’m also realizing (well, re-realizing, I guess) how very, very difficult colors are. At least, they are for me.

I’m also realizing that all those art teachers who would snottily tell us that we didn’t NEED any more than the crappy dried-out cakes of blue, yellow and red watercolor, along with the crappy dried-out cakes of black and white, because from those crappy dried-out cakes could be made ANY color, if only we weren’t so very dumb… well, basically, they lied! Now I don’t feel so stupid. Sure, it’s possible to get purple by mixing red and blue… just not THAT red and THAT blue. Only, they never told us that. Grr. Just reading up on color theory is making my poor brain hurt. I have so much to learn. I’ve withdrawn a vast stack of books from the Cincinnati Public Library and am voraciously reading anything and everything I can find online, in an attempt to get my head around even the basics. I’ve joined (but not yet posted on) a rather fantastic site called WetCanvas, and am pretty much setting out to read the entire contents of their discussion forums – I exaggerate, as the site/forum is HUGE, but it is frequented by incredible artistic geniuses, bumbling newbies, and everyone in between.

At this point I am rambling, so I will shut up. But I will be back later to post some of my efforts-in-progress.